Tonight I am off to the ball for the final of the UK Blog Awards 2017! I’m so excited to have made it to the final alongside seven other (incredible) blogs. To celebrate, I thought I would share something relevant.
When entering the awards last year, entrants were required to submit a statement explaining why they blog about their chosen subject. So, I thought I’d share these ramblings with you all to give a little reflection on why I decided to blog about tattoos in the first place and what (I hope) Inkluded stands for.
There’s so much more that I would like Inkluded to achieve – to me, it is very much an incomplete brand at the start of its journey. I’d love to be able to dedicate even more time to creating blogs about tattoos and like many tattooists I’m the biggest critic of my own work – you may struggle to find a writer in the world who doesn’t think they suck.
That’s why it’s often so difficult to take a moment to stop and look how far we’ve come in our respective fields. That’s what awards are often about and I’m sure the tattoo industry would say the same about tattoo competitions. Opportunities like this are great for allowing everyone to take a moment to be positive and reflect on everything they have achieved so far – entrants, competitors, finalists, winners (no losers!).
Inkluded is a tattoo blog and community and I am Beccy Rimmer, a UK-based writer and marketer who just loves tattoos.
Two and a half years ago I set up my blog with the mission of creating regular interesting tattoo blogs and articles. In a short space of time, the Inkluded brand has grown to be a really special community of tattoo enthusiasts that I now couldn’t live without.
Now is a really interesting time for tattooing. Tattoos are becoming more popular and ‘on trend’ but also have deep roots in history, culture and art. In terms of blogging, there’s just so much to explore and communicate. What motivates us to get tattooed today? How experimental and diverse is the art being created – not just in the world – but especially in the UK? Who are the artists at the forefront of our growing tattoo scene? How are tattoos reflected on television and in the media?
On my blog, I contemplate and explore subjects like these, also offering tips, advice and guides for tattoo enthusiasts. Getting your first tattoo can be scary and often intimidating… I want my readers to feel ‘inkluded’ in a group of like-minded people and for my blog to be a place of tattoo exploration, sharing and admiration, free from any judgement.
The general (non-tattooed) public are often mis-educated about tattoos, what they are and why we wear them. Just being considered as part of these awards has been incredible as it’s helped make a statement about the changing status of tattoos as a serious artform.
Often tattoo blogs are lumped in ‘fashion’ or ‘beauty’ categories. As tattoos are aesthetic, they’re often viewed and blogged about in relation to how good they can make us look or how they can match our outfits. For me, they’re about so, so, much more.
With a personal background working in the UK arts scene, I see tattoos as no different from any other art form. Tattooists are artists and we should make this creative industry accessible to young (and old) people wanting to explore their bodies’ connection to something artistic.
Contrary to popular belief, tattoos don’t make us look cool in our Instagram pictures, they do something much deeper to those who choose to wear ink. There are endless stories, emotional connections, colourful personalities… these are the tales I wanted to tell.
For me, tattoos are the fastest growing cultural movement in the world at the moment. With so much to say, my blog has been jam-packed with debate and discussion and I have written hundreds of blogs since we launched. Inkluded has had just short of 900,000 visits since its birth in November 2014.
I think there was a previous gap in the blog market before. I always thought there was no central place to go for reliable tattoo information, news and inspiration, in the UK especially. I wanted Inkluded to fill this gap, and in the last couple of years we’ve gone on to be at the forefront of many groundbreaking tattoo news stories.
The blog also sometimes sells products designed by tattooists… but wasn’t set-up with an intention of making profit. These (often long) ramblings aren’t intended to seem preachy or self-righteous, but are rather a reflection of my strong desire to represent how considered Inkluded’s mission was when I launched it. I always wanted the blog to have a strong opinion and a strong artistic purpose. Any tattoo lovers reading this may know that some other current tattoo brands and websites exist solely to make money and gain clicks through posting tattoo ‘horror stories’. They rarely exist to offer genuine support and necessary helpful information.
Every blogger out there will understand what I mean when I say that… we live, eat, sleep and breathe our blogs. Like I said, for most of us, this isn’t a money-making venture. Blogging is something we do because we couldn’t live without it. After a hard day’s work we love nothing more than grabbing our laptops and telling the world what we think of a particular subject for no other reason than because we care about it. For me, that’s what makes a good blog.
The above includes extracts originally posted on the UK Blog Awards website that have been amended slightly to fit new information and the context of this new blog.
Despite awards ceremonies technically being ‘competitions’, bloggers are always about collaboration, sharing the blog love and respecting and working with our peers. Please go check out the other finalists, I tagged their pages on Facebook this morning.